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We can’t let the culture scolds win

The belief that “cultural appropriation” is offensive or even evil is hardly new; when members of one culture adopt elements of another, discomfort is a fairly common response. Yet the scolds seem to be gaining momentum. Many college campuses, including my own (where the issue is sombreros), have been the scene of “appropriation” controversies.

John M. Crisp: It’s still OK to read a book

I harbor a fond nostalgia for the technologies of my youth. I keep six or seven old typewriters in my office, long after I typed the last word on any of them. In one closet I store an old-fashioned slide projector. And a turntable that will play 78s. A box camera that shoots film. A View-Master.

Doyle McManus: Why the rebel candidates are on the rise

It wasn’t difficult for pundits to spin instant explanations for why “outsider” candidates such as Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders have been surging in recent polls. Opinion surveys have long shown that American voters are unhappy about the state of the nation, frustrated with politics as usual and skeptical that conventional politicians can fix the problem. Lately, however, voters seem to have reached the “I can’t take it anymore” stage.

What does it mean to be poor in America?

According to the Census Bureau’s new annual poverty report, 46.7 million Americans lived in poverty in 2014. This finding is surprising since government spent more than $1 trillion in 2014 on cash, food, housing, medical care, and targeted social services for poor and low income Americans. (That figure does not include Social Security or Medicare.)

Doyle McManus — The debate over the Iran deal is far from over

The suspense over the immediate fate of President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran is over; last week, Republicans in Congress tried to block the deal from moving forward, and failed. But the bitter, polarized debate over the deal will continue; the complexity of the agreement and the need to make sure Iran complies with its provisions mean it will remain a live issue for the foreseeable future.

Crude oil and quakes — what are our elected officials thinking?

One must wonder if the three Port of Grays Harbor Commissioners and their executive director are really aware of the Cascadia fault, or subduction zone, running for 700 miles off the coast of the Pacific Northwest. One tectonic plate off our coast, the Juan de Fuca, is steadily slipping under the plate beneath North America. This ancient geological process is what shaped the Rocky Mountains.

Rekha Basu — Will Sanders get to lead revolution he seeks?

As poll after poll shows him inching toward Hillary Clinton among Democratic voters — and overtaking her in New Hampshire — Bernie Sanders admits he’s stunned. Nine months ago, the senator from Vermont insisted he’d get in the presidential race only if he determined the country was ready for a grassroots revolution. But the massive, enthusiastic turnouts at his campaign rallies these days have exceeded even his expectations and forced him to hire more staff.

Living on $2 a day in America

When we first met Ashley, she was 19 and a new mom, living with her mother, brother, uncle and cousin in one of Baltimore’s public housing developments. Everyone in the home was out of work; no one was on welfare. The unit was furnished with only a three-legged table propped up against a wall, a ragged couch and one chair. The fridge was empty, the cupboards bare. Visibly depressed, Ashley’s hair was unkempt, and she was having difficulty supporting her baby’s head as she held her.